Book, 'Mary Ashford'; Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (estab. 1698); X...




Book, 'Mary Ashford'

About this object

This hardbound book entitled ‘Mary Ashford’ was presented to Muriel Kerr Taylor “for attendance and good conduct” at St. Luke’s Sunday school in Mount Albert, Auckland, by her father Allan Kerr Taylor, the church’s Superintendant.

The Kerr Taylor family were devout Anglicans and attended both morning and evening services at St. Luke’s every Sunday. All of the Kerr Taylor children attended Sunday school where their mother, Sophia, taught for 46 years. Later, Mildred and her sister Winifred also taught there when their mother retired in 1920. (1)

Books, like this one, were an important part of Victorian life in an era where there was no television, computers, or radio. Books were not only a vital source of entertainment, but were also didactic, teaching young children important lessons in morality and correct behaviour. ‘Mary Ashford’ tells the story of a young girl who wishes for “finery unsuited to her station in life.” Eventually, Mary learns to become satisfied with her lowly societal position and strives to embody a “meek and quiet spirit.” (2)

(1) Jan Harris, ‘Alberton and Its Family,’ 1999
(2) ‘Mary Ashford,’ 1870, pp. 127-128

For more information about the Kerr Taylor family and Alberton, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.


Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (estab. 1698)

Maker Role


Place Made

London, England

Medium and Materials



14 x 9.5 cm

Credit Line

Collection of Alberton, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

This object is from
Alberton   Alberton

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